the shot

Ceara Sturgis’ Tuxedo Yearbook Photo That Her High School Won’t Publish


THE SHOT — Ceara Sturgis, an openly gay Mississippi student whose high school Wesson Attendance Center refused to run a photo of her wearing a tuxedo in her senior yearbook. This, despite no policy in place banning “cross-dressing” and a policy that “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or sex.” Oooh, and now the ACLU is involved!

Watch the report from KOLD below, and fall in love with Ceara’s supportive mom Veronica Rodriguez.

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  • sal(the original)

    some dress codes are ridiculoussssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!

  • Chip

    A very nice looking young woman, who clearly has her head together. Be sure to keep us updated, eh?

  • kademonster

    home state makes me proud again. don’t miss that garbage.

  • JasonB

    I love Ceara and her mom — they should be applauded for standing up for what’s right in such a conservative area. Kudos to the reporter / station for covering this in such a positive way, too.

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Eff-ing lesbians and their thick hair that’s so perfect for emo-boy cuts. I’m so jealous!

  • Kian

    This is good example of why gay people should support trans issues. She can be gay, but if she dares cross that line that supposedly separates men and women, forget it, all bets are off.

  • fuzzypony

    I want to hug that mom! And ditto what JasonB said – awesome coverage. I want to know how this turns out.

  • Laura

    I’m surprised! I am from a podunk town in Oklahoma and even our administration let an openly gay female member of our graduating class wear the “men’s” outfit, a tuxedo, in our class picture. And guess what? Nobody died.

  • Alan

    The weather looks nice for the weekend, at least.

  • Michael vdB

    I didn’t know we lived in the 50s when women could only wear a dress.

  • T.L.

    I completely agree with the school. Many straight girls dont feel comfortable in a dress, but it’s required for the senior photos. It about uniformity. Not homophobia. If they allowed her then a wise-guy straight boy were want to wear a dress just for the hell of it. This isn’t even a issue we should concern ourselves with

  • b

    she should be able to wear what she wants

  • sal(the original)

    fight on moma!!!!!

  • Alex Sarmiento

    I don’t have a problem with her wearing a tuxedo. Good for her. What bothers me is that hair! Is that even a recognized lesbian haircut?

  • Merv

    He’s a woman, baby!

  • mulletkitty

    While they are at it, Ceara should demand that officials cross check the yearbook to make sure that no one has unisex clothing, or that none of the polo’s or button downs worn by girls in the pix are men’s shirts! B/c that would also violate this unwritten, unenforceable, policy.

    It’s easy enough for a school to out in place a policy against mock or gag senior photos; there’s no mocking going on here, just self expression protected by the school’s own non-discrimination policies against gender. Way to stick to your guns, Caera; you’ve got plenty of support. The school is going to lose this one, for sure.

  • alan brickman

    totally support school uniforms now…People are at school to learn and to work as part of a team… not make national news…Conforming just for one day means you can think outside your narcissims…..Does this mean all the straight guy jokers can wear dresses in their photos?…cause you know they will…

  • alan brickman

    p.s i thought her photo looked very nice too…

  • MikenStL

    If she’s wearing a tux then she is conforming to half of the student body and if some guy wants to wear a dress… so what! Who cares, apparently there wasn’t a problem with guys wearing dresses on some of the other pages (the coverage of the dance where the guys cross-dressed).

    And I thought she looked very nice BTW, If I was looking through the yearbook, I wouldn’t have even realized that ‘he’ was actually a she unless I read her name.

  • T.L.

    oh come on…some of these comments are ridiculous. How about we pick our battles?!? i mean come on, it looks from a straiht view point that gays are attacking everything they is considered normal. Lets pick our battles one at a time. Gay Marriage-important. DADT-very important. A girl can’t were a tux in a senoir photo ( which is very reasonable) – NOT important.

  • Fitz

    Either my impression of that area of the country is way off, or this is one of the most self actualized and brave mom & daughter teams around! Yearbooks don’t seem that important to some of us, but I hope that she understands the underlying BS and that this motivates her to become an educated, loud, difficult activist. We need more of them.

    And PS: cute as a bug!

  • Kirsten

    That’s bull. At my high school we had at least two or three jocks every year that would come to school in miniskirts on halloween. This is just ridiculous…

    And can her mom be my mom? Please?!

  • trickytoro

    After taking a boy to my prom in 1986 our photo was accidentally excluded from the prom memories book given with purchased photo packages. The local photo studio, Jonathan Studios of Huntington Beach, CA accidentally received a brick through their window in the middle of the night.

  • Ashley Fuller

    Hello! I would like to take the time to thank ALL of you for supporting my little sister Ceara! You have no idea how much this means to her and her family! I know you all do not know Ceara, but she is an extremely intelligent (straight A!), a talented trumpet player, and a phenomenal goalie on her soccer team. Actually, she is talented at like everything she picks up including basketball and softball.

    Ceara has never ever hidden her sexual orientation. She has always worn boy clothes. This is what makes her comfortable. Please understand that my mom and my sister did not go straight to the media and ACLU when they were told Ceara’s picture would not be in the annual. My mother spoke to Coach Greer first who said that it was “against his convictions” so my mom went to the superintendent and he said that since there is not a written rule that Ceara’s picture could be in annual, then Coach Greer said he did not care it was not going in, then the superintendent said “whatever Greer says goes.” This has been an issue for the past month. And understand that this is NOT the first time that Wesson has discriminated against my sister, this was just the straw that broke the camels back. Stuff has been happening to my sister since her Freshman year.

    I know to some people this does not seem like a big deal. But to my sister and to my family, this is a huge deal. My sister has been going to Wesson for 13 years now (its a K-12 school) and she deserves to have a picture representing who she is in HER annual. This annual is not for the staff, this annual is for the students and this is something that is supposed to be for her to keep as a memory of her senior year. Wearing a tux is what my sister feels comfortable in! This is who she is! This photo is not something that she just needs to suck up and do just for a day, this is something that she would be able to look at forever.

    As for an update, ACLU issued a letter to the school saying that if they do not put her picture in the annual, that we would be pressing charges, and they are still refusing. The school board believes that they will win the lawsuit because back in the 1970s a similar case was brought to trial and the girl (who had not been openly gay) lost.

    So again, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for your support. We all appreciate it. And if you could PLEASE email ([email protected]) or call (601-672-7181) this organization called UNITY Mississippi and give them your support for my sister we would appreciate you even more! And thanks for all the love for our Mama too! She is pretty darn great ;) Im so blessed to have such a wonderful, wonderful family and we are so blessed to have people like you supporting my sister Ceara.

  • jim banko

    it is disgusting. we have rules in this world and you cant just do what you want. this girl is trying to make a play for attention (as most “gays” do) so that she? can have her moment. this has nothing to do with sexuality it has all to do with publicity. i would cancel the yearbook and stand up to the aclu.
    let the hate mail begin!!!

  • Chasity Moss

    Look.. Leave Ceara alone! All this hate mail bull crap is so not called for! What would u do if this was your child huh? Think about it then leave another comment. Yeah.. She’s gay SO WHAT! She’s beautiful and her HAIR is beautiful too! I’m tellin yall.. Publicity? Shoot.. Na she aunt doin it for that.. She just wants her dang picture in the year book! Its retarded that wesson has to be so rediculas! I went to school there too…. Believe me.. Its REDICULAS! So everybody that wants to talk ugly about Ceara don’t do it on web sites… Not only will the year book be with her forever.. But all this will too.

  • Imani Selden

    Im glad that Ciera has such a supportive mother. It’a important for LGBT youth to feel love and supported like that. The south needs to get with the program and stop all of the hate and discrimination. That girl paid to be in that yearbook. The principal of that school is a coward.

  • Kelly Shaw

    Why should she has to wear something she doesn’t feel comfortable in? Yes some gays may do things for attention but so does every other “type” of person in this world. Why on earth would anyone care what this poor girl chooses to wear in HER senior portrait? Who exactly is she hurting or making angry by wearing what she wears every single day? Clearly her mother is proud of her and her choices along with the rest of her family… We have bigger issues in the gay community yes but it is the small things like this that remind us that it’s not just about marriage or equality issues but also that we can’t even live our day today lifes without everyone discriminating against us. This to me is just as upsetting as the fact I can’t marry the person I love.

  • Ai

    Ceara isn’t doing this for attention, or anything of that sort. She is doing this so that it won’t happen to anyone else. Ceara and her mom are both wonderful, very sweet, and loving people. It is so wrong for you to judge her when all you see is a picture and article of her when you probably never have and ever will meet her. Now, that is just that. I don’t think she even likes all the freaking publicity! Do you want random ppl hugging you or saying, “I say you on TV.” everytime you go to town? I’m very sure that gets old after awhile.

  • matt

    Whats wrong with it? Ill tell you what is wrong with it… Its the fact the what she is doing and what all other gays are doing is wrong… The Bible states that a relationship is btw a man and women not the same sex and it even warns us about that… But again the world is so far from God or just want to ignore what the Bible states…

  • Jeanette

    @matt: Matt, take your fairy tales elsewhere. Your “God” is a myth and you have no right to push your primitive beliefs on others. Go back to the 16th century where you belong. Can’t believe anyone gives that BS any credence in this day and age.

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